Collective Giving in Australia - The Power of Many

I’m excited. This week marks a first – Women & Change, the Queensland Women’s Giving Circle will be holding our first ever voting event. We’ll be making a grant of $55,000 to one of our 3 short-listed Queensland non-profits, all tackling challenging issues of social disadvantage.

Rewind to this time last year when a small group of Queensland women came together to talk about the idea of starting a giving circle. Would anyone be interested? How should it be structured? What cause area should we support? We decided to take the plunge and have been amazed at the enthusiasm – the most common response is “I’m in, where can I sign up?”

Giving Circles have taken hold in Australia in recent years representing one of the buzziest current trends in philanthropy. I’d suggest this is for a few reasons – firstly leveraging the power of your gift. You can make $1000 go a lot further when it’s multiplied by 50 or 100, especially when the funded project is selected based on the impact that grant can make in a 12-month period. It’s also a super introduction to both philanthropy and a range of social issues faced in our communities. Sometimes this is difficult territory to embark on unless you have an “in” – to know your money is going to make a difference, that the organisation you support is legitimate, and ensuring you get a tax benefit. Doing it as a group, with a range of expertise, means the due diligence is rigorous. Finally, it’s the network. What an amazing group of women have come together to be part of Women & Change, and I’d guess there’s the same passion and connectivity with the groups across Australia. By ourselves, we don’t all have the capacity to make a big bang, but collectively we can make a substantial difference, and have a lot of fun along the way.

Philanthropy Australia is delighted to profile many of the Giving Circles and Collective Giving Events around Australia on our website.

By Fiona Maxwell, Chair, Women & Change: Queensland Women’s Giving Circle and Queensland Manager, Philanthropy Australia

Women & Change Committee Members – Heather Watson, Genevieve Fraser , Fiona Maxwell, Jo Garner, Lesley-Anne Houghton, Lesley Ray.

Oct. 31, 2014

 Tags: giving circles, collective giving

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